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Financing for development or for private interests?

Mathieu Vervynckt

13 May 2015 10:32:54

This blog was first published in Dutch on Vice Versa Magazine How can investments in and for the private sector contribute to development cooperation? This is more or less the key question on the agenda during the current Financing for Development (FfD) negotiations in New York. According to the European Union (EU), the answer lies with the risky use of public resources as a catalyst for private investment. However, this outsourcing of development cooperation to the private sector is accompanied by a serious lack of evidence about the real development impact, transparency, accountability and developing country ownership.   In a way, you have to give the EU credit. By means of a well thought-through communication strategy, the EU has managed to place private finance at the heart of the ...

European Parliament must tackle serious concerns following flawed workshop on private sector in development

Mathieu Vervynckt

13 Mar 2015 11:54:28

On 5 March, I attended a workshop organised by the European Parliament (EP) Committee on Development. It was part of the preparation process for a forthcoming report on the role of the private sector in fostering sustainable development that will be published ahead of the pivotal Financing for Development conference in Addis Ababa. Chaired by the report’s rapporteur, MEP Nirj Deva, and attended by Eurodad and many other civil society organisations (CSOs), the workshop had the potential to offer an opportunity for discussion about the benefits and challenges of engaging the private sector in development cooperation. However, in practice it turned out to be an opinionated discussion that looked mostly at the rewards of private finance, but turned a blind eye towards its problems. The workshop ...

Reaction to Council Conclusions on a stronger role of the private sector in development cooperation

ACTIONAID – EURODAD – OXFAM12 December 2014 - Media reaction  EU governments’ fixation with private sector could compromise commitment to people in poverty  Today EU Development Ministers agreed to boost the role of the private sector in development cooperation. Leading international NGOs ActionAid, Eurodad and Oxfam recognise the important role businesses can play in reducing poverty, but argue that placing the private sector at the centre of EU development policy shows ministers ...
The European Commission’s new private sector plan reveals an attempt to redraw European development cooperation to promote policy change in developing countries. There is a strong likelihood that this will mean pushing an agenda that is friendly to ...

Evaluation of blending facility exposes serious failures

Mathieu Vervynckt

20 Sep 2013 10:33:53

The long-awaited mid-term evaluation of the Neighbourhood Investment Facility (NIF), published last month, raises some serious concerns about the trend of linking Official Development Assistance (ODA) to loans from public finance institutions or commercial lenders – a trend that’s commonly known as ‘blending’. These concerns are in line with issues already raised by Eurodad several times and confirm the findings included in a soon-to-be published Eurodad report on the EU’s ‘blending’ agenda.Historically, blending mechanisms have been used to subsidise loans to the public sector. However, recently different institutions –  including the European Commission (EC) – have used them to increase their support to the private ...